As you may recall in my post about roasting chickens, I’m a big fan of cooking up the whole bird instead constantly buying only the popular cuts. For more on why this is, read the full thing here. But if you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m hungry now” and simply can’t wait an hour and a half for your clucker to cook through, this might be a solid option for you.
Spatchcocking, or the act of cutting your poultry in half and roasting it flat, is a great way to shave off time…about half the time of a conventional roast to be precise. Plus, it allows the chicken to stew away in its own juicy juices and the tasty flavours of your choosing.
This recipe is a bit of a spin on the classic Marbella chicken, but with a bit more of a middle-eastern flair thanks to the spices of baharat and sumac.
And if you’re still not convinced that roasting a whole chicken, even in spatchcock form is for you, you can of course take the ingredients below and bake up your breast, thighs, or drumsticks in a similar manner. I promise I won’t judge you ;)
Spiced Spatchcocked Chicken with Apricots, Prunes, and Olives
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
- 1 whole free-range/pastured chicken
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 5 small-to-medium sized shallots, peeled and cut in half
- 1/2 cup prunes
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup pitted green olives
- 1 tsp baharat spice
- 1 tsp sumac spice
- A sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A drizzle of honey
- About 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 400F.
- To spatchcock the chicken, place the chicken breast-side down, with the legs towards you.
- Using sturdy scissors or poultry shears, cut up along each side of the parson's nose and backbone to remove it, cutting through the rib bones as you go.
- Open the chicken out and turn over. Flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand so that the meat is all one thickness.
- You can at this point use two skewers to secure the legs and keep the bird flat, by running the skewers diagonally through the breast and thigh meat, or just leave it as-is.
- In a small bowl, combine the baharat and sumac.
- Place the chicken in a baking dish and rub the skin on both sides with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and the spice mix, and place the chicken so that it’s breast-side up.
- Evenly disperse the garlic, shallots, prunes, apricots, olives, and lemon slices around the bird, making sure to place some of the lemon slices on the chicken breasts themselves. Feel free here to sprinkle these perimeter ingredients with some extra salt, pepper, baharat, and sumac, and even a little bit more olive oil.
- Drizzle everything with honey, place in the oven, and roast for about 30-40 minutes until the bird is cooked through, but still juicy and tender.